The first Prime Minister of India, who was one of the foremost leaders of the Indian independence movement, Jawaharlal Nehru was born on November 14, 1889. Called Pandit Nehru and Chacha Nehru by various sections and age-groups of the society, Jawaharlal Nehru hailed from a prominent lawyer family and began his career in law before turning to the freedom struggle.
As the then Congress President in 1929, Nehru called for complete independence from the British rule. It was during his tenure that the Constitution of India was enacted in 1950, after which he embarked on an ambitious program of economic, social and political reforms.
On the stalwart's 130th birth anniversary, here's looking at how he shaped India's freedom struggle and ultimate move towards Independence.
1. It was during his stay in Britain that Nehru developed interest in Indian politics.
2. It was within few months after his return to India in 1912 that Nehru attended an annual session of the Indian National Congress in Patna. He decided to work for the INC in support of the Indian civil rights movement led by Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa.
3. Following Gopal Krishna Gokhale's death in 1915, leaders such as Annie Beasant and Bal Gangadhar Tilak called for national movement for Home Rule and it was during this time that Nehru got an opportunity to work with Besant.
4. Jawaharlal Nehru’s first big national involvement came at the onset of the Non-Cooperation movement in 1920. He led the movement in the then United Provinces (Uttar Pradesh) and was arrested for the same.
5. Subsequent years saw Nehru playing a leading role in the development of India’s cause to the international community. He sought for foreign allies and in 1927; the Congress party was invited to attend the congress of oppressed nationalities in Brussels in Belgium.
6. Jawaharlal Nehru worked closely with Subhas Chandra Bose in developing good relations with governments of free countries all over the world.
7. Nehru was one of the first leaders to demand that the Congress party should explicitly break all ties with the British Empire. Despite criticism by Mahatma Gandhi, the resolution for independence that was forwarded by Jawaharlal Nehru was approved at the Madras session of Congress in 1927.
8. In 1928, Mahatma Gandhi agreed to Nehru's demands and proposed a resolution that called for the British to grant dominion status to India within two years.
9. Demands for dominion status were rejected by the British in 1929. Nehru assumed the presidency of the Congress party during the Lahore session on December 29, 1929 and introduced a successful resolution calling for complete independence.
10. In 1942, Mahatma Gandhi launched the Quit India Movement and during this time, Nehru was arrested, only to be released in 1945.
11. The British 1946 Cabinet Mission to India proposed transfer of power from the British rulers to India. This led to elections to the provincial assemblies. Congress won majority of the seats and headed the interim government with Nehru as the Prime Minister.
12. Early 1947 saw a number of communal violence and outbreaks and the opposition of the Muslim league. Amid failed bids to form a coalition, Jawaharlal Nehru supported India's partition and on August 15, 1947, took office as Independent India's first Prime Minister.